What To Do If You Lose Your Car Keys

There is never a good time to lose your car keys or have them stolen. The likelihood is that it’s going to happen when you are off out somewhere or are out and about, this can be especially bad if you are in a rush or are on a time deadline like getting to work or the kids to school.

Would you know what to do if you came to leave the house and couldn’t find your keys or you got locked out of your car? We will break down your options for resolving the issue and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

 

Firstly, If Your Keys Are Stolen

If you discover your keys have been stolen, but you are still in possession of the car, then you will need to phone the police. Unless there is a threat to life, you should call 101 to report your keys as stolen. Once you have done that you will need to get a car key replacement, but also need to have the car’s engine control unit wiped, so that the stolen key cannot be used anymore. This is because the key will contain a chip that is unique to your car. It’s important that you do this as quickly as possible, to stop someone from stealing your car.

 

1.      Contact an Auto Locksmith

If you need the problem sorted out quickly then an auto Locksmith is your best bet. An auto Locksmith is a locksmith that has been specially trained in car keys and locks. Not all Locksmiths will have the training to be an auto Locksmith, so you need to be sure you are calling the correct Locksmith. Auto Locksmiths will carry blank keys and recoding machines in their vans, meaning they will be able to replace your lost or stolen key with ease.

 

Why Choose an Auto Locksmith?

Most auto Locksmiths are mobile, so should be able to come to you and cut you a new key. To get the situation resolved as quickly as possible, its best to have the following information to hand when you call the auto Locksmith:

  • Make and model of your vehicle
  • The registration number
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN number) you will find this in your V5C document
  • Picture ID, so you can confirm you own the vehicle
  • Your exact location

Using an auto Locksmith may also be your fastest option as most auto Locksmiths carry key programming equipment that will be able to replace keys for almost any make and model of car, without having to outsource the parts.

Hiring an auto Locksmith is often cheaper than sourcing a new key through the car dealership. If you order a new key from the car manufacturer, this can take days to arrive. So, if you are in desperate need for a car key replacement, then an auto Locksmith is your best bet. Most auto Locksmith should be able to cut you a new car key in one visit.

 

auto locksmith lost car keys advice UK

 

2.      Go Through Your Insurance

If your car key is lost or stolen then you might be able to claim for the cost of the car key replacement through your car insurance. There are some car insurance companies that automatically cover the cost of replacing a car key in your policy, so you will need to check if this is part of your cover.

A comprehensive insurance policy can cover reprogramming the engine control unit and alarms, which you will need to have done if your keys have been stolen. Depending on your provider and level of cover, you may be provided with a taxi to retrieve a new set of keys, a curtesy car until you get new keys or they may even send out an auto Locksmith themselves. Depending on how your no claims bonus works, it might not be affected. However, if claiming for a new key causes your premium to go up, then you might be better off paying out of pocket for a new key, as it may save you money in the long run.

Find out more about your insurance in our Guide to Insurance.

 

3.      Call Your Breakdown Service

This might be the slowest option for you, so we don’t recommend this if you want to get back on the road as quickly as possible. A lot of breakdown services cannot guarantee a time that they will be with you and if they don’t class it as an emergency, you won’t be high up on the list to be attended.

With breakdown services, it also depends what type of vehicle and key you have, as they may not have the right key coding equipment. They also may subcontract the job out to an auto Locksmith, so you are better cutting out the middle man. They are also not specifically trained as auto Locksmith, so will not have the experience an actual auto Locksmith has.

 

4.      Contact Your Local Car Dealership

This is one of the most expensive ways of getting a car key replacement and potentially the slowest. This is because the car dealership may not have all the specialist equipment that an auto Locksmith has. It’s more than likely that the car dealership will have to order in a blank key fob, which will take time and then if they don’t have the specialist programming equipment then this will also add a delay, while they contract it out.

It’s also likely that a dealership will just hire an auto Locksmith to complete the work, as before, you may as well cut out the middle man and contact an auto Locksmith yourself.

 

5.      Use a Local Garage

You will encounter the same problems with a local garage that you will at a dealership. They are unlikely to have the blank keys and reprograming equipment you require to successfully replace your car key. This is especially true if you need to replace the key in a hurry.

use local garage or auto and car locksmith if you lost your car keys

 

What We Recommend

As you can clearly see, with all the different options, going to an auto Locksmith will be the quickest, cheapest, and best option for you if your car keys are lost or stolen. They should be able to replace a car key and reset your car in one visit. This means you can get on and go about your day as quickly as possible.

If you need a car key replacement, find your local auto Locksmith.

How to Get a Car Key Replacement

Whether you have lost your keys, had them stolen, or they have broken, you may not know how to get a car key replacement. There are various ways to purchase a replacement car key, all of which vary in price, technique and time to complete. Depending on what situation you find yourself in, different options might work best for you.

 

Fast and the Least Expensive

If you are in a hurry or want your car key replaced as quickly as possible then calling an auto Locksmith might be the best option for you.

An auto Locksmith is specially trained and owns the right equipment to replace all types of keys for most vehicle manufacturers and models. The benefit of an auto Locksmith, is that they are mobile and can come to you, depending on how busy they are, they may be able to be with you within the hour.

It’s more than likely someone who advertises themselves as an auto Locksmith will carry the equipment that reprograms car keys and should be able to reprogram keys for all makes and models of vehicles. An auto locksmith should be able to complete the job in one visit as they are well stocked with the relevant equipment and blank eye. They will also be able to disable keys that no longer work.

 

Least Upfront Cost

If you want to get your hands on replacement car keys without having to pay upfront, then you may want to go through your car insurance provider. Not all car insurance policies cover replacement car keys, so you will need to check with your provider. It’s worth remembering that you may not pay up front, put if you do claim on insurance, it’s likely to increase the cost of your policy on your next renewal and may affect your no claims bonus.

Some insurance providers give you an add on of ‘Car Key Cover’ which you will usually pay for as extra alongside your standard policy. This could be a good way to safeguard yourself from a big bill if you need to replace your car keys.

 

It’s The Middle of The Night

If you find yourself without your keys in the small hours of the morning, the choice of auto Locksmiths may be minimal. If you struggle to find one, then you may have to call a breakdown service such as the RAC or AA. However, they might not be able to replace all types of keys as it will depend on what kind of equipment they have in their roadside vans.

car stuck in middle of night auto locksmiths emergency in UK local

This is likely to be a slow option, as they will be dealing with several breakdowns and if you are in a safe place, you will not be top of the list. It’s also worth noting that a lot of breakdown services use auto Locksmiths, so, if possible, it’s easier just to go with an auto locksmith.

 

You Want a Genuine Branded Key

It could be that your Mercedes or BMW is your pride and joy, and you want to have a key that is fully branded and authentic from the manufacture. To do this you would have to find and go to a local franchised dealership.

This is a very expensive option but is probably the only to get a key with your car’s logo on it. It’s also a very lengthy way of getting a replacement key, as the dealership will have to send away for a blank key that might take a long time to arrive. It’s likely that a dealership, won’t have the equipment to reprogram a car key on site, so its quite possible that they themselves will call an auto Locksmith to do the work. If you’re not fussed about having a branded key, then it will be easier to go directly to an auto Locksmith.

 

How To Get a Replacement Car Key?

As you’ve probably gathered the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to get a replacement car key is through an auto Locksmith. Replacing your car key won’t come cheap, but there are ways to keep the costs down and going directly to an auto locksmith is one of them. To find out more about our auto Locksmiths, visit out auto locksmiths’ page.

What is Car Key Programming?

If you have lost or misplaced your car keys, many people think they need to go to their car manufacturer to get a new key. Whilst this is a good option, it can be expensive and take a while. This is where the efficiency of car key programming comes in. Rather than waiting for hours or even days when you are in an emergency situation, you could get instant results through a reprogrammed key!

In this blog we will discuss all about car key programming to help you know where and when to look for a car key programming specialist!

 

What is Car Key Programming?

Car key programming is where a blank car key is programmed to work with the unique settings of a single car.  Often, you’ll need a car key programmed if you lose or break a car key.

 

How Does Car Key Programming Work?

Do all cars work like this?

Car keys work by transmitting a code to a receiver, in this case the transmitter is your key and receiver is your car. Once they are synchronized, you can quickly open your vehicle’s doors through clicking a button on your key. However, if your keys get broken or damaged it can stop this synchronization and stop your key from working.

Car key programming works by synchronising a car key to your car, where it transmits a code to the onboard computer system to unlock the door.

 

Who Can Help You with Car Key Programming?

There are a few options if you are looking to get a car key programmed, most notably a car dealership, your car manufacturer, and an auto Locksmith.

car key programming auto locksmiths UK keytek

 

Car Dealership

If you bought your car through a dealership you could go through them to get a car key programmed. Whilst this might be a good option in theory, often they won’t be able to help in emergency situations and it can be very expensive.

This can be a lengthy option as the car dealership will often send off for a blank key and often won’t have the right equipment on site to complete the job there and then.

 

Car Manufacturer

If you want a specifically branded key, going to your car manufacturer is another option. Much like going to a dealership, they most likely will be able to provide you will car key programming services, but this is often lengthy and can be quite expensive.

 

An Auto Locksmith

We always recommend looking for a local auto Locksmith to assist you with car key programming. In the majority of cases where car key programming is needed, an auto Locksmith will be able to provide you with a quicker service and often on the same day.

Auto Locksmiths will usually carry around all of the equipment need to program car keys in their Locksmiths vans, so usually will visit you wherever you are to offer the services. Saving you time and money and getting you on the road again in no time!

Another reason why calling out an auto Locksmith when you need a car key programmed is that the issue with your car key might be a separate issue all together rather than an issue with the transmitter. An auto Locksmith will not only be able to reprogram a car key, but also help with general car key replacement services and any other issues you might be having with your car locks!

 

How Long does it take to program a car key?

Depending on how fast or slow your auto Locksmith is, the average spent time on programming a car key is 15-30 minutes. However, sometimes it could take longer, and this is a case of an auto specialist going through the whole process of cutting the mechanical spare key. This could take longer than hour most of the time.

Having to handle it yourself will certainly take much longer that auto specialist’s work. Consider ll the DIY guides you will have to waste time on. So, if time is your top concern for programming a car key, it is always best to contact a local auto specialist!

 

How Much Does a Car Key Programming Cost?

The cost to program a car key depends on several factors. The following are some things to consider as they will affect the cost of car key programming.

  1. Model of vehicle

  2. Location and time of the day – the more inconvenient the time or location is, the higher you can expect to pay.

  3. Type of car key

  4. Who do you call out for key programming – car dealers, manufacturers, and locksmiths will all have different pricing!

However, on an average scale, car key programming is estimated to cost from £50 to £200.

 

To conclude, as infuriating as it is to lose or break your car key, you can easily get a car key programmed with an auto Locksmith!

 

About Keytek® Locksmiths

Here at Keytek Locksmiths, we are committed to assisting you in keeping your house and car secure!

Read more about car key replacement here!

What Causes a Car Door Lock to Malfunction?

Car door lock problems is one of the most common experiences people go through. Whilst there could be several reasons for a car door malfunction, we take you through some common reasons and what you can do to get everything work again properly. Read through our blog below!

 

Key Fob Issues

Faulty key fobs are one of the most common reasons why your car door can stop working and it’s worth noting that it is a little bit more complicated than the process of just replacing your dead car batteries with newer ones.

Car key fobs operate with batteries and like any other battery-operated device, batteries are prone to wear and tear.  Once the battery dies, the fob chip will lose power and stop working, which means you won’t be able to open or close your car door!

 

How Can I Solve This?

Whilst most key fobs also have a manual key attached, it’s always a good idea to get your key fob battery replaced. If you don’t have a manual key attached to your fob it’s worth making sure you have a backup battery and get a manual spare car key created (if possible).

 

Weather Conditions

Extremely cold weather is known to cause any door, whether car or home, to malfunction. This happens due to ice sticking to your car door surroundings and handle, making it very sticky and hard to be opened or closed. What you can do in this case is to pour some warm water but NEVER boiling around the frozen part to help melt the ice around your door or handle. Once opened, make sure you dry any wet parts from the water you have poured so you can avoid more ice formed.

 

Can Auto Locksmiths Help in Car Lock Issues?

what causes car door lock to malfunction

The simple answer is, yes! An Auto Locksmith can assist with any vehicle lock mechanism issues, which could include a damaged or broken car lock, a lock that is jammed and won’t open, a car key that is stuck in the ignition, or even if you have lost your car keys. Auto Locksmiths can also assist you with most other vehicle types where you may have a lock-related problem.

Why they are efficient is also their fast response. Most Auto Locksmiths in the UK will have an emergency response to help you out!

 

To conclude, whatever your issues are with your car door lock, you’ll want to get them resolved as soon as possible. Simply determining what is wrong is a vital first step, and whilst you may have the knowledge on what to do when facing a car lock malfunction, we always suggest calling out an auto Locksmith or specialist to help you in case it needs a deeper understanding in car devices and eventually get everything working again properly!

Top Anti-Theft Devices for your Car

No one wants to find that their car has been stolen and whilst modern cars come with pretty comprehensive security systems there are always extra steps you can take to prevent someone from making off with your vehicle.

With modern cars, the risk of someone ‘hot wiring’ your vehicle is pretty much impossible, but there can be some new risks with modern cars. Now that many cars have keyless entry, you now have to protect from keyless entry theft as well. While nothing can 100% guarantee that you can stop someone from stealing your car, you can certainly minimise the change of your car being targeted.

Here are the top anti-theft devices you can buy to make your car that little bit safer!

 

1.      Faraday Pouches

With keyless entry fast becoming the norm for newer cars, it can leave you vulnerable to car thieves who might be a bit more sophisticated. They can use something called a ‘relay device’ to copy your keys signal, tricking your car into thinking that you and your keys are nearby and allowing the car thieves to access your car and drive off, mostly undetected.

If this is something you are particularly worried about, then you can purchase a small faraday pouch for your car key. These are also known as signal blocking pouches. It’s a small pouch with a metallic lining to block your key’s signals from anywhere outside the bag. This leaves a thief unable to copy your signal and hopefully, unable to make off with your car. These pouches are also good at preventing people hacking your phone or credit card (that has contactless technology).

You can find a wide range of faraday pouches on Amazon.

 

2.      Disklok Steering Lock

This old school way of securing your steering wheel is as effective as it ever was. Not only is it a visible deterrent for any potential car thief, but it will also physically stop a person from being able to drive the car.

The Disklok Steering Lock is a reinforced large steel disc that you secure around your steering wheel. If someone does successful break into your car, they won’t be able to turn the wheel at all, as the disc just spins around, thus making it impossible to drive the car away.

The Disklok Steering Lock is perfect for older cars that don’t have the best alarm system, as well as vehicles that might be left unused for long periods of time, such as motor homes. You can get it for everyday use but it’s quite heavy and can be difficult to fit at first. However, if you don’t mind spending the extra few minutes fitting and unfitting it every day, it’s a great way to keep your car safe.

You can find these at Halfords.

 

3.      Security Tire Clamp

If you’re not sure what this, picture something that a parking warden might use to clamp your car. Wheel clamps are attached to the wheel of a vehicle, preventing the wheel from turning, meaning your vehicle can’t be driven, pushed, or towed away.

security car wheel tire clamp UK auto locksmiths

These are a great visual deterrent as car thieves tend to want to be as quick as possible and with the amount of effort it would take to saw the clamp off your wheel, they are at a higher risk of getting caught. So, hopefully just the presence of the wheel clamp will be enough to get a potential thief to move on.

One tip we have is to keep your car keys separate from the key to the wheel clamp. That way if your car keys are lost or stolen, they could just unlock the wheel clamp and drive off.

You can buy these on Amazon.

 

4.      Stoplock Pro Steering Lock

This steering lock is bit easier to use than the Diskloc as this is your standard steering wheel lock. It only takes a few seconds to secure in place and is a great visual deterrent. Once you have put it in place, it becomes impossible to turn the steering wheel in any direction. It has the added bonus that if a thief manages to break the steering lock they still won’t be able to drive off with your car as the bottom section if the bar will hit the legs or the front seat.

Steering locks are relatively cheap so this is a good option to go for if you’re worried about car theft.

These are available to buy at Halfords

 

5.      Car Smart Alarm

These devices mean that you don’t have to be within earshot of your built in car alarm to know if it’s being broken into. The best smart car alarms also come with trackers, so if someone does break into your car, you can also track the car.

A car smart alarm will send you a notification to your phone when the car alarm is triggered, and you can lock and unlock your car with your smartphone. These do require a professional installation so buy it and having it installed will set you back a fair bit. But the potential to stop a car thief or recover your car once it’s been stolen might be worth the cost.

 

What To Take Away

Unfortunately, whilst there is nothing that will make your car 100% theft proof, you can take steps to ensure that it’s the least appealing to a potential thief.

top best anti theft devices for your car to stop theft auto locksmiths UK

You can do the basics; always make sure your car is locked, never leave valuables on display, try to park in a well-lit area and make it look as empty as possible, but adding an extra level of security such as a wheel lock, smart alarm, or steering lock, may just save your car from becoming a target. Car thieves don’t want to be caught, so will look to target cars that they can access as quickly and quietly as possible. By adding some extra security measures, like the ones above, you will add to the time it would take for a thief to steal it and making it a less attractive target.

 

To find out more about protecting your vehicle from break ins and theft, read our blog on car and motorbike safety.

How to Help Prevent Car Break Ins

Whilst there is no way to stop them, understanding car break in prevent is based on a main key fact: car thieves are typically lazy opportunists.

They are constantly looking for an easy target and will often take an opportunity if they see one, so to help prevent car break ins there are a few steps you can take to give a would be burglar the opportunity!

In this blog, we will take you through some significant steps you can take to help avoiding car break ins.

 

1.      Lock your Door

It’s too easy to turn your back for a second and forget to lock your car, whether you’re filling up your tank or going back inside your house to grab something. So, even if you’re leaving for a few minutes, get into the routine of locking your car. Even if you have locked your car door, make sure the window or sunproof is closed also.

We always suggest double checking your car is locked if you have used a key fob by gently pulling on the handle.

 

2.      Keep your Keys Safe

Make sure to keep your car keys safe! When out and about think about putting them in a zip up pocket or in an internal bag pocket to keep them safe from anyone who might see them and take their chance. At home we recommend leaving your keys in a secured location, away from any windows or doors to prevent fishing!

 

3.      Park Wisely

It can be busy at times and finding an empty parking space can be hard. However, whilst in your search we suggest you keep a look out for a suitable park to keep your car as safe as possible. If possible, you should:

  • Park in the light – try and park under or close to any street lamps as it’s a great deterrent against those who might try to use the cover of night to target your car.

  • Park in busier places – the busier, the safer. As long as there are people coming and going it acts as a great deterrent and makes your car a risker target.

  • Park in CCTV areas – if possible, try and park in an area covered with CCTV and other security devices. It’s one of the best ways of protecting your car security.

 

4.      Hide All your Valuables

If you have anything precious, you’ll need to hide them out of sight. If it’s small valuables, you can use the glove box in your car to hide them or even tuck them under your car seat where they can’t be seen. If you have larger items like a bag or suitcase, we suggest leaving them in the car trunk. Even if the bag doesn’t have any valuables inside, it’s still a potentially attractive target for burglars. If you are in rush, make sure you have a blanket or towel to hide things. The less visible, the lesser a target you can make your vehicle.

 

5.      Install Security Devices

In most circumstances, taking simple precautions, such as locking your doors, closing your windows, and parking in well-lit areas, will be enough to help keep your car safe. However, there are a few devices that can be used to provide further protection. The following are what security devices you can install to your car and enhance its security.

  • Car alarm system – A keyless car alarm system allows you to lock and unlock your vehicle while also keeping it secure. Two 5-button remotes, a control module, a wiring harness, a siren, and an LED indication light are usually included in the system. So, if a burglar does happen to choose your vehicle, they’ll immediately regret it!

  • Car lock alert – It watches your vehicle and alerts you when anything suspicious occurs, notifying you if anything happens!

  • Car security camera – if we use cameras to keep our homes safe, why not utilise the same method for our cars’ safety? Even in low-light settings, most cameras will record 1080p videos, which are clear and crisp as well as provide a 360-degree view of the car when multiple are paired together. With wireless data storage available on some models, it offers a great option to protect your vehicle.

 

To conclude, every year, thousands of car owners are targets and victims of car theft, with even more having their vehicles damaged or having stuff stolen from them. A few safety precautions like the above tips can help dissuade criminals and help to protect your car.

Make sure you protect your home as well with our Home Security Guide and check our website here for weekly blogs on security and safety!

How to Stay Safe at Large Events

Most legal restrictions are currently being lifted around the world and therefore large gatherings and planned in-person events are expected to now go ahead. Although it is exciting to be able to participate in events we’ve missed last year with people from various households again, several safety factors are crucial to keep in mind. Safety factors are not only attached to covid-19 risks, but also to a personal risk as people may have forgotten important safety measures after a year of virtual events. The following are some tips to help you stay safe when you are preparing for a fun event.

Pack to Protect

Nothing is more frustrating than having a great time at an event or festival only to discover that your bag has been slit open or your phone has vanished from your pocket. Whether you have experienced this before or just someone you know has, we have all been there, and there is no doubt the feeling is unmistakable. So, it’s always best to have the following security tips in mind.

  • Consider security when you pack valuable items for event usage. Don’t list valuables on box labels or purposely mislabel them.
  • Don’t put your phone and wallet in an easily zipped pocket, for example in your front pocket as it decreases the chance of someone grabbing your phone and wallet with your knowledge.
  • You can consider getting a traveller’s wallet or a runner’s belt. These items will help in keeping your cash, identification, and even your phone near to your body and in a hard-to-reach location.

Car Park Security

Coming back to your parked car to discover your windows smashed or your campsite wrecked while you were at the festival could be even worse and is also experienced by many people during events. The Times has reported that vehicle thefts increased by more than 50% in 2020, which is the highest level of stolen cars, vans, and motorcycles in four years.

Therefore, make sure you never leave any valuables in your car that can be seen, and store anything out of sight in your boot or elsewhere in the car. Stolen wheels are worth a lot of money, either as parts or as trash. Your vehicle’s wheels are less likely to be stolen if you use locking wheel nuts. Most importantly, and worryingly, breaking into a vehicle can take less than 30 seconds. Thieves will usually avoid parking in well-lit places or on busy streets since they are more likely to be observed, so park in busier areas during a large event.

Remain Alert

Recognizing a suspicious act ahead of time could not only help in avoiding a dangerous incident, whether for you or someone else. This is why remaining alert is important. Don’t get distracted while enjoying your time and forget about what and who can be surrounding you or your group of friends.

Let the Experts Help

Security for large events is a highly specialised profession with government-recognized credentials. A security breach can have very serious effects. If you have seen any suspicious person acting strangely, directly go and notify a security expert at the event or if there are any police officers. If something happens, remember, don’t panic, keep calm and go to someone who will help you. It’s a good idea to keep those security guards in your sights during the event.

Covid-19

Reduce any potential awkwardness

There is no doubt meeting new people will be essential in large events and communicating with new people out of your zone could happen. In general, there’s an overarching question hanging in the air: What should we do and how should we act around people now? If this is one of the causes of your newfound social awkwardness, read on for some advice on how to stay safe whilst dealing with the issues that can occur as a result of social distancing anxieties and concerns.

  • Make it a point to talk about social distancing, even if it’s uncomfortable.
  • If someone has a different point of view towards social distancing, offer to negotiate rather than reacting negatively.

Always follow the latest government guidelines which you can find here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus to have a fun yet safe event.